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10 Of The Best Asian Cities To Visit

Jul 28, 2021 | Popular Reads, Travel Tips

Asia is the largest continent on earth; covering around 9% of the earth’s total surface area. It is also one of the most diverse continents on earth full of towering mountains, lush rainforest and deep oceans. From the beautiful beaches of Thailand to the bustling cities of Japan, travelling through Asia is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Whether you are looking for adventure, culture or nature, the cities in Asia usually encompass all three. You can enjoy the bustle of people’s daily life, try the local cuisine, explore the intricate temples and get lost in it all.
Here are 10 of the best Asian cities to visit including Tokyo, Singapore and Hoi An!



1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo is one of the largest cities in the world and is a popular spot with travellers. Home to over 37 million people, Japan’s capital is the world’s most populated city. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Tokyo include the Sensō-ji i Temple, Tsukiji market and the famous Pokemon centre! If you time your visit to Tokyo with Japan’s famous cherry blossom season, then you won’t regret it.

One thing to remember is that unless you are visiting the major tourist areas of Tokyo, english signs and announcements aren’t widely available throughout the city. It can go a long way to learn a little bit of Japanese before your trip, as it will help you with getting around and communicating with the locals.

If you travel through Japan with us, we will show you the best of Tokyo. We will take you out for some tasty Japanese cuisine, show you the famous Shibuya Pedestrian Crossing and make our way to the city’s electric town – Akihabara. You can find more information about our Japan tours on our website!

shibuya pedestrian crossing in tokyo

2. Singapore

Singapore is a popular spot amongst backpackers and travellers, and it isn’t hard to see why! It is actually one of the smallest countries in the world, but is extremely multi-cultural. The fusion food, varied experiences and different cultures make for a very vibrant city.

Gardens by the Bay is one of Singapore’s iconic attractions, and is home to the famous Supertree Grove. During a usual travel year, this site attracts around 50 million visitors a year. It covers an impressive 250 acres of land, and there are plenty of places to visit within. Make sure you save enough time to visit the Cloud Forest Dome, the Flower Dome, the OCBC Skyway, the Supertree Observatory and of course Supertree Grove.

If you are planning a trip to Singapore in the future, then make sure you have some pretty pennies to bring with you. Although the majority of Asia is relatively cheap, Singapore is an expensive city and so isn’t kind to a backpacker’s wallet.

an aerial city of singapore

3. Manila, the Philippines

The city of Manila is the capital of the Philippines, and is found on the island of Luzon. This bustling city is home to nearly 2 million people and is a popular hit with tourists, with over 1 million people visiting Manila each year.

The main tourist hotspots in Manila include the Walled City of Intramuros, Fort Santiago, Rizal Park and the National Museum Complex. If you are a sunset lover like us then make sure you head to Manila Bay during your visit. You won’t be disappointed!

The city of Manila is the first stop on our Philippines tour. After arriving at our boutique hostel we will have a tasty meal in a local venue, and then head up to the rooftop terrace where we will enjoy a few drinks whilst looking out over the beautiful Manila skyline. If you are looking to party afterwards, there are some famous Manila nightlife spots for you to check out.

the skyline of manila, Philippines

4. Bangkok, Thailand

If you are ever travelling through Southeast Asia, then Bangkok is a city you just have to visit! It is one of the most popular cities in Thailand, and is the perfect place to explore, eat tasty food and get to learn more about local life. City life in Bangkok is pretty crazy, and it can take a while to get used to, but once you do there are so many amazing experiences to be had.

The city of Bangkok is well known for its temples, with there being over 400 located in and around the city centre. Some of the most popular temples to visit include the Grand Palace, Wat Arun, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Pho which is the temple of the reclining buddha. Some of the other popular spots to visit in Bangkok include Khaosan Road, Chatuchak Weekend Market and Lumpini Park.

 the temple of wat benchamabophit in bangkok, Thailand

5. Jaipur, India

Jaipur is located within the state of Rajasthan and is known as the ‘pink city’. In 1876 the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria visited India, and because of this Jaipur was painted pink to signify hospitality and to welcome the royal family. Since then, the tradition has been continued which gives the city a beautiful colourful charm.

The city has a lot of history, and is actually believed to be the first planned city of India. It was completed in 1730 and was built within 4 years. The city of Jaipur has been named a UNESCO World heritage site, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Some of the most popular spots to visit include the Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Amber Fort.

During our India tour, we will visit the beautiful city of Jaipur. First of all, we will take you to watch a Bollywood movie in one of the grandest theatres in the world. Then, throughout the rest of your stay in Jaipur, we will show you all the amazing things this city has to offer. You will get to visit the local markets, meet with local market traders and visit the ‘monkey temple’ that is located just outside the city centre.

amber fort in jaipur, India

6. Jakarta, Indonesia

Sitting on the Northwest coast of Java is the large capital city of Jakarta. Indonesia’s capital was established in the fourth century as Sunda Kelapa and was once an important trading route. Today, Jakarta has a population of at least 10 million people and is fast becoming a hugely popular tourist destination.

Found on the most populous island in the world, Jakarta never really had an impressive international attraction despite being the centre of Indonesian politics, economy and culture. Now though, things are starting to change with Jakarta being ranked as the fifth fastest-growing tourist destination in the world. In most cases, the tourists that travel to Jakarta are domestic travellers or foreign travellers stopping off in the city on their way to the smaller islands in Indonesia, such as Bali or Komodo Island.

However, Jakarta does have a lot to offer. The popular attractions here include the Maritime Museum, Kota Intan Bridge and Merdeka Square. You should also visit Thousand Islands, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah and Sunda Kelapa old port if you get a chance!

 the city of jakarta in indonesia,

7. Hoi An, Vietnam

Formally known as Fai-Fo or Faifoo, Hoi An is a small romantic city in Vietnam with a population of only 120,000. This historic city is often referred to as the Venice of Vietnam with its historic background and incredible architecture.

Since 1999 Hoi An has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognised for its exceptionally well-preserved example of a 15th to 19th Century Vietnamese trading port. The colourful town sits on the river and is home to some pretty incredible buildings. Here you can experience the cultures of indigenous and foreign people alike.

One of the most popular tourist spots in Hoi An is the famous Japanese Bridge which dates back to the 16th century. Some other top tourist attractions include the night market, cycling tours and Cua Dai beach isn’t too far away either. However, even if you don’t visit any of these spots, we can guarantee that the quaint and beautiful nature of Hoi An will completely win you over! Check out our Vietnam 12 day and 14 day tour options.

a woman exploring the city of hoi an, Vietnam

8. Kyoto, Japan

The city of Kyoto is famous for its shrines, temples and Geishas so is the perfect spot to visit if you are after a bit of Japanese culture. It can be slightly overwhelming when planning a trip to Kyoto as there are so many amazing things to see and do, but we know you will fall in love with this city.

Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto include the Fushimi-Inari shrine, the famous temple of Kinkaku-ji and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. If you are a foodie, we would definitely recommend you to visit Nishiki market. You will find everything when it comes to Japanese cuisine here ranging from instant noodles, to raw fish.

If you decide to travel through Japan with us, we can show you everything Kyoto has to offer! We will head to the famous Gion district which is well known for Geisha’s, head to the Fushimi-Inari Shrine and visit the Kiyomizu-dera which is one of Japan’s most famous temples.

arashiyama bamboo grove in kyoto

9. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and is one of the best Asian Cities to visit. From the incredible street food to the amazing attractions to visit, this city has a lot to offer.

Some of the most popular spots to visit in the city include the famous Petronas Towers, the KL Forest Eco Park and the Perdana botanical gardens. If you are after a day trip from the city centre, then Batu Caves is the perfect place to visit. Batu Caves is made up of a series of caves and temples and it is only a short distance on the metro.

The city of Kuala Lumpur looks pretty big on a map, but lucky for you a lot of the popular spots are located fairly close together. Travelling around the city is easy with the LRT, free buses and taxis, which are very cheap within the city centre (although we recommend you use the app ‘Grab’ for the best deals).

the petronas towers in kuala lumpur

10. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Around 2 million tourists a year visit Siem Reap, as it’s a highlight of any Southeast Asia trip. It is the fastest growing place in Cambodia, outside of Phnom Penh which is the capital city. The history of this city dates back to the year of 802, so as you can imagine this place has lots of interesting and cultural sites to see.

Of course, the most popular spot in Siem Reap (or just outside) is the famous Angkor Wat complex. This temple complex is one of the largest religious monuments in the world as it was founded in the 12th century. There are over 1,000 temples to explore in the area, and you can hire a bicycle or hire a tuk tuk driver to take you around.

Aside from Angkor Wat, there are plenty of other things to do in Siem Reap. The temple of Wat Preah Prom Rath is a beautiful spot to visit, and if you have a chance make sure to visit the night market and the Siem Reap Royal Gardens.

the angkor wat complex in siem reap, Cambodia

Whether you want to explore temples or find some tasty Asian cuisine, each of these cities has something incredible to offer. Every city in Asia offers something unique, and so there is the perfect city for every traveller. Whatever you are looking for, we can guarantee you will find it in one of these beautiful destinations!

These are just some of the best Asian cities to visit, but we know there are so many more! If you have ever travelled to Asia, which city is your favourite, and why?

Feeling inspired about your next adventure? Check out our other trips and use the code ONELIFE15 at checkout to get an enormous 15% off ALL tours in 2021, 2022 and 2023!  

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Written By: Abbie Bevan